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New Overwatch patch testing buffs for Mei and Mercy, nerf for Genji

Plus some changes for Zenyatta and D.Va

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Blizzard rolled out a new patch on Overwatch’s public test region (PTR) today that indicates some important balance changes are coming for characters like D.Va, Genji, Mei, Mercy and Zenyatta. The changes to Genji are some of the biggest, and will likely come as relief to many Overwatch players who have frequently been on the receiving end of a cyberninja manhandling.

Genji’s ultimate, Dragonblade, for example, is seeing its duration decreased from eight seconds to six. Blizzard is also making certain abilities, like his dash, double jump and Swift Strike skill less effective in the hands of players with quick reflexes.

Here’s Blizzard’s explanation for the changes that Genji players probably won’t be too thrilled about:

"Genji was a little too difficult to pin down, and these changes will balance his speed," Blizzard said in its patch notes. "Swift Strike no longer cancels the recovery time from a quick melee attack, so players will no longer be able to get a free melee attack before using Swift Strike. Lastly, Dragonblade's duration was long enough that it often felt too difficult to reasonably counter."

Another character that Blizzard recently said might have been buffed too much, Zenyatta, will see his Orb of Discord nerfed. Instead of increasing damage by 50 percent, it will now increase damage by 30 percent. Zenyatta’s Orb of Destruction attack, however, gets a boost from 40 damage to 46 damage.

There’s better news for Mei players. Her ultimate, Blizzard, can now be thrown through barriers (like Reinhardt’s shield) and has an expanded radius (10 meters, up from eight meters).

Mercy, who has been less effective on support than characters like Lucio and Zenyatta recently, is getting some help as well. Her healing beam will see its healing-per-second boosted by 20 percent and her teammates will resurrect faster, increasing her chances of survival.

There are other key changes coming for D.Va, Hanzo, McCree and Lucio in the patch, which you can read more about in Blizzard’s official patch notes. Those changes are currently only available on the Windows PC version of Overwatch and only in the PTR. Expect them to roll out wider after extensive testing.

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